Successful Launch of Rodent Research-IV Project to Space

Kacena Team

Years of intense research, rescheduled dates and much preparation led to the successful launch of SpaceX CRS 10 at 9:39 am EST on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Rodent Research-IV (RR-IV) mission is a collaborative research project between the United States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (PI, Rasha Hammamieh, PhD) and Indiana University School of Medicine (PI, Melissa Kacena, PhD, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery). Several other faculty members assisting Dr. Kacena with this project include Todd McKinley, MD; Marta Alvarez, DDS, PhD; and Liming Zhao, MD, of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, as well as Tien-Min Gabriel Chu, DDS, PhD of Indiana University School of Dentistry. The primary goal of this research project is to translate new discoveries in bone regeneration for osteoporosis, fracture healing and other bone disorders.
This unique research and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was one where Indiana University School of Medicine sent a team of 18 members down to Florida to support the preparations for launch. In addition to Dr. Kacena, the team was comprised of two additional faculty members, three postdoctoral fellow, one orthopaedic resident, five medical students, one PhD student, one staff member and four undergraduate students.  All of the team members were vitally important for the successful launch of this project aboard SpaceX CRS 10. The launch was documented in various forms of media, including television, print media and social media.  For more information about Bone Healing in Space, please visit

Airing this week – local news show “Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick” to interview Dr Melissa Kacena


We have some exciting news. Dr. Melissa Kacena’s spaceflight research will be discussed on TV this week. Dr. Kacena will be interviewed by business health reporter Barbara Lewis of “Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick”, a local news show that hosts stories on local people and businesses that are making headlines in Indiana.

You can watch her interview scheduled to air this week on the days below:

WFYI (PBS) 20 (and all other PBS channels): FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2016, AT 7:30PM EST


If you live in a city outside of Indianapolis, please click on the link below to see which channel may broadcast the Inside INdiana Business show with Gerry Dick in your area or to see clips of the segment online.


To learn more about Dr. Kacena’s spaceflight research visit her website at:

and sign up for her blog:


Seeking postdoctoral fellows to assist with spaceflight studies

NIH and DOD funded laboratory seeking 1-2 postdoctoral fellows to conduct studies using in vivo and in vitro approaches for understanding megakaryocyte-bone cell interactions and bone healing. Unique opportunity to assist with SPACEFLIGHT STUDIES and a chance to travel to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center to watch the launch of our samples into spaceflight (2016 and 2017 missions).

Ph.D., or similar, with bone biology and/or hematopoiesis background. Must be experienced in standard molecular and cell biology techniques such as: cell culture, sterile technique and qRT-PCR. Experience in flow cytometry is a plus. Must be experienced in basic mouse handling including: breeding, genotyping, and injections. Experience with any kind of surgery is preferred, especially fracture healing. Additional skills: standard light and fluorescent microscopy, bone histomorphometry, bone biomechanics, microCT, x-ray, DEXA imaging, transplantation studies, preparation of osteoblasts, osteoclasts, hematopoietic stem cells, and megakaryocytes, as well as excellent written and oral communication skills. Training will be available.

U.S. Citizens and Green Card Holders have the opportunity to be on our Institution’s NIH T32 training grant. The Indiana Center for Musculoskeletal Health has a large and diverse group of 40+ musculoskeletal researchers, with weekly journal club, external seminar speakers (1-2/month), and a number of educational/career development opportunities.

More information
Additional information about the research being conducted in our laboratory is available at

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, CV and references to Dr. Melissa Kacena, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, 1130 W. Michigan Drive FH 115, Indianapolis, IN 46202. (317) 278-3482 or

Indiana University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to excellence through diversity.

Emeritus Faculty, Dr. Capello, featured in Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances

William N. Capello, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Orthopaedic Surgery, is featured in an editorial, entitled “Beyond the White Coat: History of a Friendship.”

The editorial shares how the friendship between two orthopaedic surgeons shaped their lives – for more than 50 years. Through their life-long friendship, the two have had successful careers and over 100 publications – with one-third of those being co-authored by both.

Read the full editorial in the Winter, 2015 issue of Journal of Surgical Advances.

17 Orthopaedic Surgery faculty make 2015 “Top Doctors” list

Congratulations to the following faculty for making the Indianapolis Monthly 2015 “Top Doctors” list!

Christine Caltoum, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Shyam Kishan, M.D.
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Randall T. Loder, M.D.
Garceau Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Todd McKinley, M.D.
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Michael Meneghini, M.D.
Director of Joint Replacement, IU Health Saxony Hospital
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Brian H. Mullis, M.D.
Chief of Orthopaedic Trauma Service, Eskenazi Hospital
Residency Director
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Karen Myung, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery

Andrew Parr, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Daniel Wurtz, M.D.
Interim Chair, IUSM Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Jack Farr, M.D.
Volunteer Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

David A. Ficsher, M.D.
Volunteer Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Gary W. Misamore, M.D.
Volunteer Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Jeffrey Pierson, M.D.
Volunteer Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Rick Sasso, M.D.
Chief of Spine Service, Indiana Spine Group
Volunteer Associate Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery

David Schwartz, M.D.
Volunteer Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Donald Shelbourne, M.D.
Volunteer Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery

Walter Virkus, M.D.
Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery

New Leadership Team for Residency Program

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is excited to announce our new leadership team for the Residency Program.

Starting October 2015, Brian Mullis, M.D., became the residency program director for the Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. In addition to the new director position, Dr. Mullis is Chief of Orthopaedic Trauma Service at Eskenazi Hospital and Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. Additionally, we welcome Tina Lee as our new coordinator of educational program. We are excited about the new leadership team and the start of this new chapter in our department.

“I look forward to leading this outstanding program and, with Ms. Lee’s help, continue the great work Dr. Caltoum has done,” said Dr. Mullis.

With the announcement of this transition, we want to thank Christine Caltoum, M.D., for her service as the immediate past residency program director and the recently retired residency coordinator, Donna Roberts. Because of their leadership, our program has produced many outstanding surgeons. Thank you Christine and Donna for your dedication over the years.

Meneghini research pub: Large metal heads, vitamin E polyethylene increase frictional torque in total hip arthroplasty

Michael Meneghini, M.D., Director of Joint Replacement at IU Health Saxony Hospital and Associate Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery, and colleagues from IU Health and IUPUI published an article in The Journal of Arthroplasty, entitled “Large metal heads and vitamin E polyethylene increase frictional torque in total hip arthroplasty.”

The article recommends that, based on the  increased frictional torque from the large femoral heads and vitamin E polyethylene lines compared with smaller metal heads, that the larger diameter femoral heads should be considered and further studied.

Meneghini RM, Lovro LR, Wallace JM, Ziemba-Davis M. Large Metal Heads and Vitamin E Polyethylene Increase Frictional Torque in Total Hip Arthroplasty. JArthroplasty. 2015 Sep 30. pii: S0883-5403(15)00834-7. doi:10.1016/j.arth.2015.09.020. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26482682.

Kacena, McKinley Partner with NASA and DOD to Study Bone Healing in Spaceflight

And we're off blog photo

IUSM Orthopaedic Surgery research is going to the International Space Station as part of a mission on the SpaceX10.

The space launch is scheduled for February 2016. In the weightlessness of space, Dr. Melissa Kacena, Dr. Todd McKinley, Dr. Tien-Min Gabriel Chu and team will use a mouse model to study novel and current bone healing therapies. The potential outcomes for this research could lead to a better understanding of bone loss in space, which is important for long-term space flights. It is also hoped that the knowledge gained will advance the treatment of severely damaged limbs.

The research team just returned from testing at NASA Ames in August – with all things passing with flying colors. (see photo)

To learn more about this mission, please visit the website and subscribe to the blog.

Mullis testing “telementoring” technology to visually guide surgeons on battlefield

Researchers are developing an "augmented reality telementoring" system to provide effective support to surgeons on the battlefield from top specialists located thousands of miles away. The system uses a transparent display with a tablet positioned between the surgeon and the operating field. Here, a researcher tests the system using a manikin-like "synthetic patient simulator." (Purdue University image/ ISAT Lab)
STAR (System for Telementoring with Augmented Reality) used on a synthetic patient. (Purdue University image/ ISAT Lab)

Brian Mullis, M.D., Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at IU School of Medicine and Chief of Orthopaedic Trauma at Eskenazi Health, has partnered with Purdue University researchers to develop “telementoring” technology, entitled System for Telementoring with Augmented Reality (STAR), to provide effective support to surgeons on the battlefield from specialists located elsewhere.

STAR harnesses various technologies such as transparent displays and sensors to create a sense of co-presence for surgical expert and on-site doctor. A tablet is positioned between the surgeon and the operating field and held in place either with a robotic arm or a mechanical holder controlled by a surgical assistant. The tablet acquires a video stream of the operating field as the surgery proceeds and provides a transparent view for the on-site doctor. The video stream is sent to the mentor who enhances it with instructive annotations, which are sent back to the surgery site on the transparent display.

Researchers have tested the system thus far with animals and a manikin-like “synthetic patient simulator.” Findings are detailed in this paper published in The Visual Computer. A video of the system is available at

Existing telestrator-based surgical telementoring systems require a trainee surgeon to shift focus frequently between the operating field and a nearby monitor to acquire and apply instructions from a remote mentor. We present a novel approach to surgical telementoring where annotations are superimposed directly onto the surgical field using an augmented reality (AR) simulated transparent display. We present our first steps towards realizing this vision, using two networked conventional tablets to allow a mentor to remotely annotate the operating field as seen by a trainee. Annotations are anchored to the surgical field as the trainee tablet moves and as the surgical field deforms or becomes occluded. The system is built exclusively from compact commodity-level components – all imaging and processing is performed on the two tablets.

This work was supported by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs under Award No. W81XWH-14-1-0042. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the Department of Defense.

Virtual Annotations of the Surgical Field through an Augmented Reality Transparent Display. Daniel Andersen · Voicu Popescu2 · Maria Cabrera · Aditya Shanghavi · Gerardo Gomez3 · Sherri Marley3 · Brian Mullis3 · Juan Wachs 1 1Purdue University, School of Industrial Engineering Education 2 Purdue University, Department of Computer Science 3Indiana University School of Medicine

Dr. Ertl Earns IUHP Pillar Award for Service

Janos Ertl, M.D., chief of service, Orthopaedic Surgery Eskenazi Hospital and Indiana University School of Medicine assistant professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, was awarded an Indiana University Health Physicians’ Pillar Award for Service in April 2015 for his dedication to providing excellent care and compassion to patients with complex needs. Dr. Ertl was nominated by his colleagues and patients.

Dr. Ertl and staff.
Dr. Ertl and staff